Surfing California Kid Colapinto, Brazil’s Weston-Webb wins in Portugal

FILE PHOTO: Surfing - Women's Shortboard - Round 3
FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Surfing – Women’s Shortboard – Round 3 – Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Tatiana Weston-Webb of Brazil before competing in Heat 7 REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

March 7, 2022

(Reuters) – Young Californian surfer Griffin Colapinto won his first World Championship Tour event, beating Brazilian Filipe Toledo in clean, man-sized waves in the final of MEO Pro Portugal on Monday.

Tatiana Weston-Webb turned the tables for Brazil in the women’s division, triumphing over California’s Lakey Peterson in the third event of the 10-stop world tour.

“Honestly, I just had so much fun out there, like it was actually fun,” Weston-Webb said. “Lakey and I had such a great fight back and forth, I was really excited just to be out there.”

Weston-Webb excelled throughout the competition, defeating Hawaii’s reigning World and Olympic champion Carissa Moore in her semifinals.

After finishing second in the world behind Moore last year, Weston-Webb struggled in the first two events of the year in her adopted home of Hawaii and needed a strong result ahead of the Australia stage which starts next month at Bells Beach.

“For me, the beginning of the year was such a bad start and it was actually in two places where I thought I was going to do really well,” she said. “So to me I was like, ‘OK, I know God has a plan, trust it, keep surfing and try my best’.”

While the waves at Peniche’s Supertubos break had shed off Sunday’s surging barrels for which it is famous, the flat sandbar still offered enough power for surfers to show off their skills.

No one could have been happier with the smaller surf than Toledo, whose speed and precision of turns and wide range of antennas are difficult to match when the waves are around man-high.

But Colapinto isn’t airborne either, scoring the first perfect 10-point ride of the season with a huge, full spin over the lip in his quarterfinals on Sunday.

He finished off a slightly upset John John Florence, Hawaii’s two-time world champion, with another big high-flying spin in the second semifinal.

23-year-old Colapinto caught the biggest waves of the final, powerfully surfing his backhand to take a narrow lead in the final minutes before the ocean flattened and Toledo was denied an opportunity to fight back.

“I can’t believe what people have to go through to get this win, it’s as good as it gets,” he said.

(Reporting from Lincoln Feast in Sydney; Editing by Christian Radnedge) Surfing California Kid Colapinto, Brazil’s Weston-Webb wins in Portugal


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